SIBU: Sibu and Kuching have been selected for the Urban Renewal Plan which will be implemented in the state under the 12th Malaysia Plan.
Sarawak Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said Sibu town should take the development seriously as it was a big project requiring commitment from the people.
“This urban renewal plan will be carried out under the 12th Malaysia Plan. Gabungan Parti Sarawak is seriously looking into the plan as it is an important one.
“We want it to cover development of the economy, education and commerce, among other things, ” he said during a visit to the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) office.
The plan not only covers the Bukit Assek area but all of Sibu, including Sibu Jaya.
Dr Sim said for the plan to be properly implemented, SUPP Bukit Assek chairman Datuk Chieng Buong Toon was appointed an adviser.
Separately, he said the state government would reimburse SMC RM15mil to cover the shortfall caused by the lowering of the assessment rate from 2016 to 2019.He disclosed that the state government, with the approval of the Cabinet, had consented to pay the money to the council.
“I heard that SMC was facing a RM15mil deficit. When the assessment rate was revised, hefty discounts were given, up to 90% for certain tiers.
“Due to this SMC incurred a deficit of RM15mil over the past four years, ” he said.
Sim said despite the lower income, SMC was able to maintain its services to the people which included grass cutting, street lighting, garbage collection and others.
“The assessment rate collection was down but we still managed to provide municipal services to the people, ” he said.
Earlier, Dr Sim approved a sum of RM500,000 for the development of Sibujaya Pasar Tamu.
At the function, SMC chairman Clarence Ting presented agreement letters to two hawker associations, Sibu Division and Meradong District Hawkers Association.
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